Sunday, October 28, 2018

10/28/18 - 5 Months!

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I thought I would check in this morning as I hit my five month mark today!  I feel pretty good.  I have had a couple of cravings but not too bad. I am learning that I have more "pre-party" cravings than anything. 

For example, Friday was my first experience with supervising a middle school social.  It wasn't that bad, but the kids were kind of hyper all day because of the messed up schedule and the social, so it was a bit exhausting. This was causing me to have some cravings. This kind of a day has always been a trigger for me...especially if it is on a Friday. I could always justify drinking bc it was a tough day at work and it was "kind of" hooked to a was a Halloween Social. In the past I absolutely would have gone home and had a couple of beers. Just sat back, relaxed, and thought "phew, that was exhausting". That afternoon we went to my sister's house (yes, my wine drinking buddy sister) for her son's bday party.  There were other women their who were drinking white wine (my favorite). I honestly didn't have any cravings. I just drank my seltzer spiked with San Peligrino and watched them all get a little louder. 

It did bring back the memory from last June when we were at her house for another party, everyone was drinking, I decided I would as well, got super loud, stayed until midnight and had my dh come back to pick me up. That night was followed by one of the most emotional hangovers I had ever had and my first day of sobriety. 

Anyway, the "pre-party" craving - right when I got off of work was much more difficult than while I was actually at her house. 

Last night, we were invited to a Halloween party at a brewery not too far from our house. My neighbor's (yes, my beer drinking buddy neighbor) adult sons both play in a pretty good band that was playing there. When we got there EVERYONE was drinking and loud and dancing and partying and have a really good time.  I was in my element for partying, but really didn't have too many cravings. They sold kambucha, which kind a looks like beer when poured in a glass, so I just drank that and was fine with it. I actually sat still and enjoyed the music and talking to my friends rather than being super hyper, just wanting to move around and maybe go outside so we could talk (aka I could talk) more easily.  It was actually a bit enjoyable. 

My cravings, once again, were worse when I went up to take a shower and get ready to go. This would have been when I started drinking to get ready to really drink.  Once I go there it was fine - no really anxiety or panic attacks. 

Most importantly, we left both nights at a decent time, came home went to bed, got some decent sleep and didn't wake up with a hangover.

Last weekend was a little more difficult. My new friends from my new school were going out on Friday to sit in the sun and have some drinks. It had been an exhausting week and I REALLY wanted to go. I started having all those same thoughts - you weren't ever really that bad., you just thought you were, you aren't really an alcoholic, you can control it, just go with them, bond and have a good time, you deserve it, this is stupid, it will be fine.... I didn't go but I was really bummed about it the rest of the night.  I actually sat in the Costco parking lot and had a group conversation with my adult kids and husband.  They said some pretty poignant things. My son said (kind of reasoned), "Mom, you have done so much work to get to this point. Don't throw it away for a couple of hours drinking. You know you will be disappointed tomorrow." My daughter, who is a bit more boisterous, said (kind of yelled), "Mom, are you kidding me! No! your don't need it to have a good time. You can do all the things you want to do, or not, without drinking and you will feel so much better."  My husband said (kind of pleaded), "Honey, please don't.  You are in such a better place and I don't want to see you go back down that path of constantly battling yourself and beating yourself up."  I love my family! That helped. I went into Costco, went home, was still a bit depressed but just went to bed. The next morning was really weird. I felt like I actually had an emotional hangover. I couldn't get out of bed, I laid around watching dumb tv until noon, I was exhausted and emotional and pissed and grouchy. 

I honestly think that some of this had to do with the Zoloft I had been taking. Zoloft was having three pretty big  side effects on me. One, an most importantly, it was really messing with my sleep. I never really felt like I was getting good sleep. I think it was keeping me from having REM sleep. I wasn't remembering any dreams and was waking up exhausted.  One of the huge benefits of sobriety for me is getting good sleep. This was not happening and I was just feeling so run down and tired all the time that I started wondering why I was even quitting if I wasn't going to feel any better. 

Two, it was also really messing up my intestines. My ability to go to the bathroom regularly was all messed up. I was usually pretty constipated, always felt like I had to go and then when I finally did never felt like it ever completely emptied out - I know - gross but true. This made my stomach hurt, and made me feel bloated and sluggish all the time.  There is nothing better than getting a really good night sleep and then  "taking care of business" the next morning. Neither was happening. 

Three, my neck and back were really hurting. My neck kept grinding and popping and almost getting :stuck" when I would move it a certain way. The tendon/muscle that runs between my shoulder blades and my spine was always killing me. I even bought a back massager and used it so long the first time that I bruised my back. I started doing some research and learned that all of these symptoms are side effects from the Zoloft. 

It took me three weeks but I have now weened myself off of them as of three days ago.  Maybe it is all in my head, but the last two night I slept, remembered my dreams, went to the bathroom and have had less neck/back pain.  I suppose it is possible as I was on a tiny little half of a 25 mg pill for a week before I stopped taking them. I had gotten up to a 50 mg dose. I know that really isn't that much, but maybe my body/mind is just as sensitive to these types of medication as it is to alcohol. It just doesn't work for me.  

It also does not escape me that at this exact time last year, I had been sober for a little over four months and chose to drink again, which resulted in a disastrous few months. Not this time.

Thanks to all of you that had been thinking of me and checking in.  So far so good!

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